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Holby City was axed to allow for more dramas based outside of the south of England to be made, the BBC's drama boss has reiterated.
Back in June of this year, the broadcaster devastated loyal viewers when it announced that the show, which began in 1999 as a spin-off to Casualty, was going to conclude in March 2022, having been on air for more than two decades.
"It was an incredibly difficult decision," Piers Wenger, the controller of BBC drama commissioning, recently recalled to Digital Spy and other press.
Watch: Holby City is being axed after 23 years!
"But you know, when [Director-General of the BBC] Tim Davie gave us some very clear direction on wanting to make more drama across the UK, and we knew we had EastEnders, Holby and Casualty – all of which are based in the South, albeit Casualty in Wales – we knew we needed to better reflect life across the whole of England, which is why we've chosen to bring back Waterloo Road."
During the interview, Wenger was also asked outright whether the impassioned reaction to its cancellation might inspire a change of heart, but he seemingly chose not to answer that part of the question – which, unfortunately for fans, suggests not.
In its original statement confirming that Holby City would be coming to an end next year, the BBC said: "We are so very grateful to all of Holby's wonderful cast, crew, writers, producers – and to our millions of loyal viewers and fans for being part of our show.
"This tough decision reflects the BBC's commitment to make more programmes across the UK and to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.
"We promise that Holby will get the send-off it deserves. Thank you for your continued support and love for the series."
Holby City airs on Tuesdays on BBC One.
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